In times like these, there must be one ruling power to which all others must yield. “In a multitude of counsellors,” saith the Book of Books, “there is safety,” but nowhere we are told, in history or Revelation, that there is aught of safety in a multitude of rulers. Any “rule of action,” sometimes called the “law,” is better than a multitude of conflicting, irreconcilable statutes. Any one head is better than forty, each of which may conceive itself the nonpareil, par excellence, supreme “caput” of all civil and military affairs. Let Governor Harris be king, if need be, and Baugh a despot.“Let Governor Harris be king, and Baugh a despot,” says Thee Bulletin. Who is Baugh? The Mayor of Memphis. The mob reign of terror gotten up under this doctrine of Secession is so great that we find they are appealing to the one-man power. They are even willing to make the Mayor of the city a despot, and Isham G. Harris, a little petty governor of Tennessee, a king. He is to be made king over the State that contains the bones of the immortal, the illustrious Jackson. Isham G. Harris a king! Or Jeff. Davis a dictator, and Isham G. Harris one of his satraps. He a king over the free and patriotic people of Tennessee! Isham G. Harris to be my king. Yes, sir, my king! I know the man. I know his elements. I know the ingredients that constitute the compound called Isham G. Harris. King Harris to be my master, and the master of the people that I have the proud and conscious satisfaction of representing on this floor! Mr. President, he should not be my slave. [Applause in the galleries.] The President pro tempore--Order! A repetition of the offence will compel the Chair to order the galleries to be cleared forthwith. The order of the Senate must and shall be preserved. No demonstrations of applause or disapprobation will be allowed. The Chair hopes not to be compelled to resort to the extremity of clearing the galleries of the audience. Mr. Johnson of Tennessee--I was proceeding with this line of argument to show that, in the general proposition that there was a fixed determination to change the character and nature of the Government, the Senator from Kentucky and myself agree, and so far I think I have succeeded very well. And now, whey we are looking at the elements of which this Southern Confederacy is composed, it may be well enough to examine the principles of the elements out of which a government is to be made that they prefer to this. We have shown, so far as the slavery question is concerned, that the whole question is settled, and it is now shown to the American people and the world that the people of the Southern States have now got no right which they said they had lost before they went out of this Union; but, on the contrary, many of their rights have been diminished, and oppression and tyranny have been inaugurated in their stead. Let me ask you, sir, and let me ask the nation, what right has any State in this so-called Confederacy lost under the Constitution of the United States? Let me ask each individual citizen in the United States, what right has he lost by the continuance of this Government based on the Constitution of the United States? Is there a man North or South, East or West, who can put his finger on one single privilege, or one single right, of which he has been deprived by the Constitution or Union of these States? Can he do it? Can he touch it? Can he see it? Can he feel it? No, sir; there is no one right that he has lost. How many rights and privileges, and how much protection have they lost by going out of the Union, and violating the Constitution of the United States? Pursuing this line of argument in regard to the formation of their Government, let us take South Carolina, for instance, and see what her notions of government are. She is the leading spirit, and will constitute one of the master elements in the formation of this proposed Confederate Government. What qualifications has South Carolina affixed upon members of her Legislature? Let us see what are her notions of government — a State that will contribute to the formation of the Government that is to exist hereafter. In the Constitution of South Carolina it is provided that “ No person shall be eligible to a seat in the House of Representatives unless he is a free white man, of the age of twenty-one, and hath been a citizen and resident of this State three years previous to his election. If a resident in the election district, he shall not be eligible to a seat in the House of Representatives unless he be legally seized and possessed, in his own right, of a settled freehold estate of five hundred acres of land and ten negroes.” This is the notion that South Carolina has of the necessary qualifications of a member of the lower branch of the State Legislature. Now, I desire to ask the distinguished Senator from Kentucky--who seems to be so tenacious about compromises, about rights, and about the settlement of this question, and who can discover that the Constitution has been violated so often and so flagrantly by the Administration
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